Saturday, March 01, 2008
Now this is a real world crisis
A worldwide shortage of a key beer ingredient, hops, is causing beer prices to spike, beer batches to be delayed, and talk of your favorite pale ales being forced to (gulp) mellow out.Screw the elections, this is serious, people!
Already, in Charlotte, retailers are reporting that beers from smaller, "craft" breweries have risen about $1 per six-pack this year, with more increases coming as brewers pass on the cost of a five- to tenfold increase in hops prices.
That's if the brewers can find any hops at all.
The news gets more bitter for beer drinkers. Recent corn subsidies have lured surviving farmers away from hops, leaving only 118,000 acres worldwide dedicated to growing it. Worse yet, last year's crop was thinned by a drought in Australia and excessive rains in Europe.
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